In a year the price of Arabic coffee – February 2019 to February 2020 – rose 16.75%. The pound went from $ 0.95 to $ 1.11 in the international market, according to the Investing portal.
However, now that coffee begins to have better prices, Ecuador cannot take advantage of them. National production has declined and that is reflected in the statistics. Between 2017 and 2019, exports fell from 19,000 to 13,000 tons, and in values of 119 to 83 million dollars, according to data from the Central Bank . In 2012, the country exported 56,000 tons (260 million dollars in revenue)
This disincentive, says Askley Delgado Flor , former president of Anecafé (National Association of Coffee Exporters), is due to the lack of support from the state sphere, with a waste, without results, of state money. “Added to a brutal cost that manufacturing companies have in the services of electricity, water, telephony, which are not only expensive but also deficient.” “The energy is cut off every moment without a solution, and that implies huge costs for the few factories that remain.”
During the Rafael Correa government, the so-called coffee and cocoa minga was promoted, which meant an investment of over 200 million, but that the case of coffee, according to statistics, is not reflected in results.
The only efforts that have had an effect are those of the private company, which has financed the Golden Cup competitions (for Arabic and robust), organized by Anecafé, and that have made the best lots sold to specialized buyers in Europe, States United and Asia at high prices.
Humberto Heredia points out that in the short and medium term the average price of the quintal of arabic will be around 129 dollars, so the low productivity will not allow Ecuador to continue in the market, unless it focuses on producing special coffees for A growing niche market.
These are the five reasons for the coffee debacle :
- Lack of state support . No government could have a policy of the sector after the elimination of quotas (70s) and that raised prices due to supply control. After the year 2000 the coffee plantations of Manabí and other provinces of the country began to be replaced.
- Little research Although the Iniap ( National Institute for Agricultural Research ) did research in search of productive varieties, it did not receive sufficient support, nor were there incentives and financing to private companies.
- Private company relegated. During the Rafael Correa regime, when the private company was motivated, they were not given support to those who had research in national robust coffee clones. The officials, including the former vice president, Jorge Glas, visited one of the estates to which they did not give the support in the end: they did not finance the producers who should use the new plants. Others still owe money.
- Low productivity Not having high productivity, but low price, farmers had no motivation for new plantings or the rehabilitation of orchards. The best returns in robust did not have the financial support that was promised.
- Low prices . The high production of countries such as Vietnam, Brazil and others in Asia caused prices to fall in the world, because in those nations they achieved greater production with lower costs.